Friday, 3 February 2012

PhD Studentship in Cognitive Factors in Anxiety-related Freezing Responses at Radboud University, Netherlands

Faculty of Social Sciences
Vacancy number: 24.19.12
Closing date: 18 February 2012

As a PhD student, you will participate in a project entitled 'Cognitive Factors in Anxiety-related Freezing

Human defensive reactions such as fight, flight and freezing behaviour may play an important role in the development of threat-related psychopathology such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The present PhD project focuses on freezing and investigates cognitive processes associated with freezing behaviour. We will test which cognitive markers are related to freezing and how they contribute to the development of psychopathology. These markers include: attention (measured using EEG and reaction time tasks), stress-related hormones, and memory (explicit and implicit memory).

You will be responsible for collecting, analysing and reporting behavioral and EEG data. You will write at least 4 papers on this data, resulting in a doctoral dissertation. You will devote about 10% of your time to teaching (including supervision of BA and MA level theses on the same topic).

The educational component will be embedded in the Behavioural Science Institute (BSI). The project will be supervised by Dr M. Hagenaars and Prof. K. Roelofs.
The training of the PhD-student (26 ects) takes place within the Behavioural Science Institute-Graduate School (BSI-GS) of the Radboud University Nijmegen (BSI: This BSI-GS is officially recognized by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research.

Work environment
The Faculty of Social Sciences is one of the largest faculties at Radboud University Nijmegen. The faculty’s ambition is to become one of the top social science institutes in Europe, providing high-quality research and study programmes that rank among the best in the Netherlands.

In close cooperation with the research institutes, the faculty offers six high-ranking programmes to approximately 2,200 students: the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Psychology, the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Artificial Intelligence, and the Research Master’s programmes in Behavioural Science and Cognitive Neuroscience. The Behavioural Science Institute (BSI), one of the research instituted of the Faculty of Social Sciences, received excellent ratings in a recent evaluation. Its mission is to conduct top-level research on the fundamental principles and processes that govern human behaviour. In addition to this fundamental aim (to understand behaviour), we aim at societal relevance (to influence behaviour). The BSI's PhD students are trained and supervised at the BSI Graduate School (officially recognized by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). The BSI has state-of-the-art research facilities for observational studies, experiments, eye-tracking studies, EEG measurements and GSR recording, psychobiological research, and behavioural measurements in both real and 3D virtual environments. The BSI cooperates closely with the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (website, where fMRI, MEG, and TMS are available for research on the neural bases of behaviour.

What we expect from you
- a Master’s degree in Psychology or Cognitive Neuroscience;
- a strong interest in experimental research, cognitive functioning and psychopathology;
- affinity for and (preferably) experience with EEG;
- the ambition to become a top-level scientist;
- a good command of written and spoken English;
- a working knowledge of Dutch or the willing to learn Dutch within a year;
- excellent social skills.

What we have to offer
We offer you:
- employment: 1,0 fte;
- in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus;
- the starting salary is € 2,042 per month on a full-time basis; the salary will increase to € 2,612 per month in the fourth year;
- you will be appointed as a PhD student (1 FTE) for a total of 4 years. Your performance will be evaluated after 18 months. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years;
- you will participate in educational activities (i.e. teaching students) as part of the contract;
- you will be ranked in the Dutch university job-ranking system (UFO) as a PhD student (promovendus).

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

dr. M. Hagenaars
Telephone: +31 24 3612668

Are you interested?
It is Radboud University Nijmegen's policy to only accept applications by e-mail. Please send your application, stating vacancy number 24.19.12, to, for the attention of Human Resource Department, before 18 February 2012.

No commercial propositions please.

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